- Ben Simmons has missed the last three months of Brooklyn Nets action
- He is on a five-year, $177million contract but has constantly struggled with injury
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Ben Simmons has made his long-awaited return to the court for the Brooklyn Nets, after missing the last 38 games with a lingering back injury.
The Australian star is currently in the middle of a five-year, $177million contract, but has been of little use to his teammates so far this season.
Simmons, 27, played six games through October and November, but has since sat out the last three months – only returning for the first time against the Utah Jazz on Monday night.
He received a warm welcome from the Barclays Center crowd when he came on in the first quarter, and incredibly went on to make history almost immediately.
He played five minutes in the first quarter and made six assists – becoming the first Nets player to ever achieve the feat.
Ben Simmons celebrates during his return to action with the Brooklyn Nets on Monday night
Australian Simmons came on early in the game and immediately made Brooklyn Nets history
Simmons stands alongside Royce O’Neal as he checks in during the first quarter in Brooklyn
The Nets went on a 14-0 run with Simmons in the line-up, and took that to a 20-6 extended run since he’d checked in.
Simmons has been struggling with a nerve impingement in his lower back, a frustrating injury that has kept him sidelined for a lengthy period.
Before picking up his latest injury Simmons was averaging 6.5 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 6.7 assists while shooting 52.8 percent from the field.
Simmons dealt with injury issues during his time with the Philadelphia 76ers as well and missed his entire 2016-2017 season with a foot injury after being drafted No. 1 overall that same year.
Simmons has missed the last 38 games of the Nets’ season, while on his $177m contract
Simmons’ recent role has been the team’s cheerleader, watching on from courtside
He also missed the entire 2021-22 season with a back issue while in a contract dispute with the 76ers.
Simmons has failed to play in more than 58 games since the 2018-2019 season when he played in 79 games for the 76ers.
Last season with the Nets he took to the court only 42 times before he was eventually shut down for the remainder of the campaign.
Brooklyn has been struggling of late without Simmons available and currently have an 18-27 record to sit 11th in the Eastern Conference.